A man suspected of shooting three Korean women in a hair salon reportedly told investigators he had panic attacks when around Asians.
A man has been arrested in connection with the shooting of three Korean women at a Dallas hair salon last week.
Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime and the accused is suspected of having recently fired at or near Asian businesses.
Jeremy Smith, 37, was incarcerated in Dallas County Jail and is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, FoxNews reports.
He allegedly entered the Hair World Salon on May 11 and opened fire on all seven people inside with a .22 caliber rifle, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia told reporters.
Smith fired 13 rounds before fleeing in a minivan, he said.
“We believe the shooting was intentional,” Mr. Garcia said. “The actions and the investigation told us that this was motivated by hate.”
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One victim was shot in the foot, another in the lower back and the third in the right forearm, Garcia said. They are expected to recover.
The FBI said it was investigating the shooting as a hate crime. Surveillance video captured Smith’s pickup truck with specific details and determined it to be a 2004 Honda Odyssey, authorities said.
An affidavit to the arrest warrant said Smith was driving the minivan with a paper license plate matching several of the numbers seen by witnesses. He also admitted to being in the area the day of the shooting, Fox Dallas reported.
A car accident two years ago with an Asian man caused him to have panic attacks and “delusions” when around people of Asian descent, Mr Garcia said.
Smith was also fired from his previous job at an Ulta Beauty warehouse for attacking his Asian boss, the document says.
He was questioned by investigators on unrelated charges when he was taken into custody for the shooting, Garcia said.
A search of his van revealed a handgun, magazine and ammunition, police said.
Mr. Garcia said investigators are looking into whether Smith was involved in two other shootings targeting Asian businesses that occurred in April and May.
No arrests were made in these incidents. The suspect was driving a minivan similar to Smith’s vehicle, Mr. Garcia said.
This article originally appeared on Fox News and has been reproduced with permission
Originally published as Koreatown barber shooting suspect ‘motivated by hate’, had ‘panic attacks’ around Asians